Northern Ireland

Billy Wright Inquiry - panel members

The Billy Wright Inquiry was established under section 7 of the Prisons Act (Northern Ireland) 1953. On 23 November 2005 the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Peter Hain MP, converted the Inquiry to be held under the Inquiries Act 2005.


Image caption Lord MacLean

The Rt Hon Lord Ranald MacLean has been a Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland since 1990.

During this time he has worked for the Parole Board for Scotland and the Scottish Judicial Appointments Board, chaired the Committee on Serious Violent and Sexual Offenders and sat on the Independent Review Commission on Scottish Football.

He was one of the three judges who presided over the Lockerbie trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands.

He was previously a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, of the Council on Tribunals and on the Stewart Committee on Alternatives to Prosecution and chaired the Sentencing Commission in Scotland from 2003 to 2005.


Image caption Professor Andrew Coyle

Andrew Coyle CMG

Professor of Prison Studies in the School of Law, King's College, University of London.

Between 1997 and 2005 he was also director of the International Centre for Prison Studies in King's College London.

He has held a number of positions in the Scottish Prison Service and the Prison Service of England and Wales, including serving as the Governor of four prisons: Brixton, Shotts, Peterhead and Greenock.

Professor Coyle was a specialist advisor on prison issues to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee between 2000 and 2001.

He has visited, advised and lectured on prison systems in numerous countries and has published widely on the subject.

Image caption Billy Wright Inquiry panel member, The Rt Rev John Oliver

Rt Rev John Oliver

Bishop of Hereford from 1990 to 2003.

In that capacity he chaired both the Advisory Board of Ministry and the local Unity Committee and was the Anglican representative in an ecumenical delegation that travelled to meet faith community leaders in the former Yugoslavia during the Balkan conflict.

Before that, he served as Archdeacon of Sherborne, Team Rector of the Parishes of Central Exeter and the South Molton Group of Parishes in Devon, as well as serving as Chaplain and Assistant Master of Eton College.


The Solicitor to the Inquiry is Mrs Pauline Henderson. Mr Henry Palin was Solicitor to the Inquiry until April 2010. Mrs Oonagh McIntosh was Secretary to the Inquiry until May 2010.

Mr Angus Stewart QC was Leading Counsel to the Inquiry.

Dr Eugene Creally and Mr Murdo Macleod QC were Junior Counsel to the Inquiry.

Mr. Derek Batchelor QC was Leading Counsel to the Inquiry from April 2005 to June 2008.

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